Domain Name Squatters Lose - Again 

publication 

November 2, 2017

Intellectual Property Bulletin

As any startup company that has built a consumer facing brand will tell you, there are countless names to secure, from choosing a corporate name and registering a trademark, to finding all the right social media account names on the appropriate social media platforms.  As basic as it may seem in a Web 2.0 world, a domain name is still a cornerstone of a good online branding strategy.

However, registration of a domain name, or not taking the initial steps to secure a domain name registration, is not always the end of the story.  In a recent domain name dispute before the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (“BCICAC”), Whatsapp Inc., the owner of the registered Canadian trademark WHATSAPP (registration number TMA838338) and the provider of one of the world’s most popular mobile messaging applications, was able to wrestle the domain name “whatsapp.ca” back from an unaffiliated third party who was found to have registered that domain name in “bad faith”.

To read more about the nature of the dispute above and some of the solutions to hurdles that foreign entities may encounter when attempting to register a “.ca” domain name, please click here.

by Michael Reid and Pablo Tseng

a cautionary note

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2017